Trump Announces U.S. Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement

Energy & Climate -- June 01, 2017

President Trump has announced that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Agreement, an international agreement designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He argues that the agreement would hurt the U.S. economy because it is too expensive, that the agreement is insufficient to positively affect the climate, and that the agreement disadvantages the U.S. relative to other countries.

The Paris Agreement itself enhances the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with the goal of holding global average temperatures within 2°C above their pre-industrial levels. The agreement has been signed by every country in the world except for Nicaragua and Syria, and the United States is the first to announce its withdrawal.

Because the UN failed in the past to impose binding international rules on greenhouse gas emissions, the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC let countries set their own goals for climate change as "nationally determined contributions" (NDCs). These NDCs are not legally binding by themselves, but under the Paris Agreement each country would be obligated to report on its progress in implementing each NDC and each county would also be obligated to develop new, stricter NDCs every five years.

The initial NDCs would indeed be insufficient to reach the stated goals of the Paris Agreement, but the long-term intention of the agreement is for these NDCs to be revised over time as more data is collected and as new technologies are developed. The goal would be to create a positive feedback loop of reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

President Trump Announces U.S. Withdrawal From the Paris Climate Accord
Statement by President Trump on the Paris Climate Accord
How Trump left the Paris climate deal
How much of a difference will the Paris Agreement make?
The Paris Agreement

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